Friday, October 20, 2006


These are my picks and kicks of the games at Essen as displayed on BoardGameNews A-M and N-Z pages. In some cases I already know the games, and in others I only know as much about the games as their BGN blurbs and images convey. As far as I'm concerned, 2006 was a great year for games. My interest rankings are as follows:

3 - Want it or already bought it.
2 - High interest. Perhaps waiting for rules.
1 - Some interest. Need more info and feedback.
0 - No interest.

Obviously, I'm not going to mention every game. I will only mention low interest games if they have lots of buzz or are likely to be the hits.

Anasazi: Interest 0
No rules. I can't tell if this game has any miniatures mechanics. Do distances affect the ability to place "connections"?
Architects of Arcadia: Interest 1
No rules. The cynic in me says this game was an attempt to use up leftover Torres parts. Still, there could be something here. Some of my Geek Buddies are hot for it. I'll wait to see what they think.
Battlelore: Interest 0
Yawn. You can play all the semantic games you want; Battlelore is collectible. It's a fantasy version of Memoir '44, which I was completely tired with by the time I finished the basic game. Forget the expansions. And forget Battlelore.
Columns of Venice: Interest 2
Pretty game. Looks like you vie for control of the columns, then build variously-shaped structures on top of them. There are also various roles to choose from, although it's unclear how this mechanism works.
Die Macher: Interest 0.5
My interest in playing this game is 3. However, the graphic design of the new version is poor. The choice of pink, the blurred voting track, the non-delineated party meeting boxes, the multi-styled card icons, and the rules font add up to one ugly game. Leave the art to the artists. Someone I know will buy this, so I'll get to play it some day.
Emira: Interest 1
No rules. It's almost impossible to offend me (except by being incompetent or stupid), and Emira is no exception. The theme doesn't particularly appeal, but it won't keep me from buying it if my interest increases.
End of the Triumvirate: Interest 3
Excellent and unique game. I already ordered it.
Genesis: Interest 0
Played twice. I got the same internal response as Hacienda and Ticket to Ride. There's nothing to see here. It's unusual for me to find nothing redeeming in a Knizia game.
Gheos: Interest 3
This game will likely get my Rules of the Year award. Best written, formatted, and organized rules I've ever read. The game sounds fantastic.
Gloria Mundi: Interest 2
I was attracted to this game initially because it didn't look like it even needed a board or map. The main mechanism is one where you might initially ask, "Does this work? Is there a game here?" I'm pretty sure there is, although building and running away might not be up everyone's alley.
Hermagor: Interest 2
No rules. All I know is the board is huge (but not Railroad Tycoon huge), and it looks rather nice. It seems there's a market where you position yourself to buy goods and information (interesting twist), and perhaps a scale showing the values of resources. Can players affect the values of resources, or do they simply react to changing values? Is there any overlap with this game and Himalaya?
Imperial: Interest 1
No rules. I just ordered Antike. So I'm just keeping my eyes on this one.
Justinian: Interest 1
No rules. Could be interesting. Could be a flop. It appears all you are doing is positioning people left to right in order to control their "worth", and positioning yourself on those people to be able to take advantage of them. Shrug.
Khronos: Interest 3
I must have this game. Most original idea I've seen in a long time. I'm hoping the time dimension is as relevant and interesting as the two spatial dimensions. The 3 colors and 3 sizes of buildings seem to make the spatial play richer than E&T.
Leonardo da Vinci: Interest 1.5
Like the idea, but it seems a little overdone and strange at the same time. I'll wait for more feedback on the Geek before biting.
Midgard: Interest 1
Another game that I was hot on at first, but cooled some when I realized there was no spatial element. I'm just going to wait.
Medici vs Strozzi: Interest 2.5
I've had original Medici on my want list forever, but was a little bummed that it did not play with 2. If this has any of the feel of the original but plays really well with 2, it'll be a no-brainer.
Perikles: Interest 2.5
This would be an automatic buy if the rules had been written by any other person on the planet than Martin Wallace. Even the people who already own it and love it are finding ambiguities. The good news is the game sounds typically Wallace: multi-dimensional interactions, multiple end game conditions, and multiple forces.
Pillars of the Earth: Interest 0
Thank you BSW for implementing this game. It's just ok, but I will never buy it. The mechanics call for strategy (like choosing power plants in Power Grid), but the randomness thwarts it. The fact that only 1 metal (usually) is available per round, that a player may have committed a large chunk of their resources to needing it, and that the player may never get a metal for the rest of the game is yucky. I would equate this with paying 100 Elektro's for a nuke plant only to draw a card that says "remove all Uranium".
Section X: Interest 1
No real idea what the mechanics are. I'm just interested from the image of the blurb.
Shogun: Interest 0.5
Sweet-looking. I already own Wallenstein, but it's not in my top 10. Even of Shogun is heavily tweaked, I don't think I'd get too interested.
Silk Road: Interest 1
I want to like it, but nothing really grabs me. Waiting for more feedback.
Space Dealer: Interest 1
I'm more rubbernecking here than anything else. The images are certainly striking. A real-time game about trading goods and combat in space?
Taj Mahal: Interest 3
Did I tell you I got to touch a copy last week? I still haven't washed my hands.
Taluva: Interest 1
While many think the game looks great, I find it way too busy. I have no idea how it plays, but it's hard to play a game if looking at it gives you a headache.
Tempus: Interest 0
Despite the lack of rules, I was initially watching this game with interest. There's been enough feedback now that I know I won't like it. Does anyone?
Terra Nova: Interest 3
I just ordered this one. I really like the simple mechanics of Hey! That's My Fish! This one adds another level of depth. Still, it's going to be a light game.
Thief of Bagdad: Interest 1.5
Maybe it's just the title that grabs me. The images don't tell much. The game has bribing. Is this an auction mechanic, or can you simply place a bribe on your own turn?
Through the Ages: Interest 2.5
A 3-hour civilization card game? Are you insane!? Actually, from the images and the blurb, I am very interested in this. You have to build up your culture, economy, population, military, etc., but there's no attacking each other on a map.
Yspahan: Interest 3
Ystari is on a roll with me. Ys, Caylus, and Mykerinos are all excellent. If Yspahan is as good, the Ystari brand might be an automatic buy for me in the future.


At 3:40 PM, Blogger grey_tinman said...

I'm very interested in Khronos, mostly because your blog alerted me to its existence. I'd like to hear what people think about the game, but I haven't seen anything in the (few) Essen reports I've seen. The only other game on your list that I'll probably end up owning is Shogun. I've never played Wallenstein, but have wanted to since I heard about it.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Mark Haberman said...

Pass on Emira. It's fun for the first half, and then it just stalls out. You should play it once though, since it has some neat ideas.

At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In regard to "Does anyone like Tempus?"... Well, I do. It's not as drop-dead-super-sweet as I wanted it to be, but I still enjoy it and I'm happy I've got it. I wish I could say the same about Rum and Pirates, which I could have done without. I mean, R&P is allright, I just don't need to own it.

So yeah, Tempus is good. I'm curious about Khronos, and I'm about to look into a couple other games you mentioned to see if I need to seek them out at BGG.con to play.

Thanks for posting!

At 11:08 PM, Blogger sedjtroll said...

Er, that "Anonymous" post was from me :/

- Seth

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Joe Kopiki said...

Hi! The game Khromos looks amazing! Have you seen the trailer?

I recommend that you turn off light and turn up the loudspeakers.

Regards from Spain


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